The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has revealed that the Upper Tribunal has ruled in favour of the national regulatory body in a case against pub chain operator Greene King.
The company applied to the UKGC to obtain bingo operating licence in order to begin offering commercial bingo in its pubs across the UK.
At a hearing in London, Greene King’s lawyers said that the UKGC had exceeded its powers when it refused to grant a licence enabling Greene King to offer bingo as well as high stakes B3 and B4 gaming machines in some of its pubs.
Greene King also argued that the UKGC’s refusal infringed on the territory of licensing authorities carrying out their premises licensing function.
However, Judge Howard Levenson rejected the arguments and ruled that the UKGC has the power to refuse an application, should it conclude that granting the application would not be reasonably consistent with the licensing objectives.
Judge Levenson ordered the case to be sent back to the First-tier Tribunal for reconsideration.
Helen Venn, programme director at the UKGC, said: “We welcome the Upper Tribunal’s decision, which clarifies the Commission’s powers.
“In our view commercial betting, gaming and bingo and any associated high stakes and prize machines, should only be provided in separate premises licensed for that specific purpose – premises that adults make a deliberate choice to visit in order to gamble.”
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